The Business Architect Collaborator

by Jeff Scott, on Aug 10, 2016 2:08:27 PM

Middle_Managers.pngBusiness architects don’t control large budgets nor do they command large groups of people. With little money and less authority, business architects’ success hinges on their ability to create value through others. In pursuit of that goal many business architects attempt to implement governance mechanisms with little success. One of the biggest lies analysts and other BA pundits tell us is that governance is a best practice. A best practice is something that works for a significant number of people in a wide variety of circumstances. Given that business architecture governance is something tried by a large number of people with little success, maybe we should call it a worst practice. Gaining senior level support in hopes they will direct others to follow our lead isn’t much better. Successful business architects recognize that collaboration is a key element in reaching their goals.

Business architects collaborate with a wide group of people:

Business architecture’s clients - Working with business leaders in a collaborative fashion is clearly a best practice demonstrated by most successful business architects. To do this means you have to let your clients help shape your models and deliverables. Not all business architects are ready to do this but it is a key to long term success and sustainability.

Program Management Office– Business architects spend significant time working with the PMO helping evaluate and shape the investment portfolio.

Corporate and/or LOB Strategy – Business architects collaborate with strategists by providing operational insights on capability performance and by helping illuminate and communicate the strategy across the organization.

Customer Experience – Leading business architects are beginning to work with customer experience teams where they provide operational insights and help translate customer experience designs into a common set of goals and objectives.

Enterprise Architecture – Many business architects originated in EA or still work there. They collaborate heavily with their technical counterparts ensuring a tighter alignment between business and IT goals.  

Four steps to jumpstarting collaboration:

1. Where you have something going on, keep it going and expand on it. Growing current relationships is infinitely easier than creating new relationships. Use your current relationships to help you initiate new ones. Don’t be hesitant to ask your current collaborators to help you collaborate with others. After all, they know it works – they are getting value from the relationship.

2. Ask for information to help you do a better job. Though some groups protect their information like it was the crown jewels, most are willing to share if you ask nicely. Follow up by showing them how you applied their information and how it furthered you success, or even better how it supported their goals and how you gave them credit for their help.

3. Help others succeed. Nothing will jumpstart a new collaborative effort like helping your partner before helping yourself. Think of it as an investment in future collaborations where they help you accomplish your goals.

4. Think win-win. Collaborations are always about everyone getting benefit. It is even better when your partners get a little more than you do. They will always be delighted to work with you.
The bottom line:_________________________________________________________________
Don’t build a DIY business architecture. Business architects are most successful when they partner and collaborate with others.


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